Nap on D-Day may have cost Hitler victory
Nap on D-Day may have cost Hitler victory

As world leaders observe the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings, few people know just how different World War II could have been if Hitler's aides had the courage to wake him up from a nap.

According to a News Corp report, this decision may have had a massive influence on 20th century history.

As dawn broke on June 6, 1944, Germany was still in with a strong chance.

This June 6, 1944, photo shows American soldiers of the Allied Expeditionary Force securing a beachhead during initial landing operations at Normandy. Photo: AP

According to the News Corp report, America’s famous battlefield commander General Eisenhower knew this. Despite his confident words to troops on the eve of his greatest adventure, he had quietly prepared an “in case of defeat” letter.

This June 1944 file map photo shows a blackened area, at centre, on the Normandy beachhead indicating the approximate area captured by the allies at the end of four days of battle after D-Day. Photo: AP

But when detailoed of the Allied landings emerged, Hitler was asleep.

This simple hesitation by cowed staff may have cost Germany, if not victory, a tremendously advantageous negotiated peace.

The American War cemetery of Colleville sur Mer in Normandy, France. The cemetery overlooks Omaha Beach, one of the landing beaches of the Normandy Invasion, and contains the remains of 9,387 American military dead, most of whom were killed during the invasion of Normandy and ensuing military operations in World War II. Photo: AP

According to the report, Germany’s reserve tanks and troops — which could have responded within minutes — instead sat and waited. The 10,000 border troops hiding in their pillboxes and trenches were left to hold the line alone as 175,000 Allied troops steadily waded ashore.

When Hitler finally roused himself to take action the belated orders came as Allied troops had reorganised after their chaotic push up the beaches.

The West Australian

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